Landreth Seed of the Day – Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea

Candy on a Vine – The Dwarf Grey Sugar Pea

If you won’t let your children pick and eat these pea pods right off the vine without washing the pods, then don’t grow this plant. At maturity, these pea pods are so sweet they are truly like candy. The Dwarf Grey Sugar Pea is a snow pea – a flat podded pea where the entire pod is meant to be consumed. This is one of the oldest pea varieties in America. It was introduced before 1773 and has been continuously cultivated since then. It is one of the earliest maturing and one of the shortest pea plants grown and it is extraordinarily prolific, but the best thing, in my opinion, about this plant is its lovely flowers of magenta, lavender and white. This pea is a great way to get children started in gardening. On a cold late winter day, planting peas can be a little unpleasant, but to then harvest the incredibly sweet fruit 2 months later, as one of the first harvests of the season, teaches a valuable lesson, “Good things come to those who wait. (a little!)”

Note: I love this pea, and have grown it since moving to Alaska. It is a very easy pea to grow, resists fungus and other nasties very well, and produces a truly delicious pea. I have, sadly, never managed to actually cook with this pea, as I tend to eat them in the garden or pick a bucket of them and eat them in the house for several days. They are glorious. And the beautiful maroon and pink flowers make them as ornamental as they are tasty. They remind me very much of the Painted Lady bean, so far as flower color is concerned, but are much easier to grow.

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